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Discussion Starter #1
fyi, i'm copying this from the welcome newbies section....
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I have some questions about my little guy.

ok, well maybe not so little.



I got him from a rescue group. He's a really great dog!! He loves people, dogs, cats, you name it! Playing ball is his favorite thing to do, bar none.
However...

When I first got him, he was very under weight. his ribs were showing, his hind quarter hip bones were showing by about an inch. I had him on Innova large breed adult dog food for a while. He was itching like a madman after a while, his stool became very loose, and his skin was pink. So I did some research and "assumed" he was allergic to chicken.
I changed his diet to Evo red meat, large bite formula. He did great! His stool hardened up, although it was greenish in color.

enter the dog park...

I take him to a local dog park, which he just LOVES! he basically ignores all the other dogs and just wants to play ball. fine and dandy.
after a while, he started having diahrea. I took him to the vet, and they said he may have giardia. They "took" a stool sample from him and the vet said she'd call me later with the results. She also gave me Flagyl to give him.

She calls me up later that day and said his results were negative. I doubted the results, as I've done some research and found the tests they do aren't very accurate. She says to bring him in next week.

enter next week...

we get to the vet, she say's the county is doing a research program on local dogs that have giardia, and that she sent a sample to the county to be checked. They found out he was actually positive for giardia.
the original prescription had long since been gone, but he still had a very loose stool. she gives me another prescription for more Flagyl. His last day on it is tomorrow. He "still" has a loose stool, however, now it's a normal brown color, instead of the greenish.
He's been on the evo red meat diet for a long time now (4 months) so I'm doubtful he's allergic to that.

anyone have any ideas as to why his stool would "still" be loose? it's not diahrea, but more of a pudding consistency.
 

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My dog has the same issue. A pudding like consistency. I actually think it is her treats that's doing it to her. She was on flagyl last week and another medicine you shake over her food.

I'm thinking about changing her food completely (she's on Royal Canin) and seeing if that helps.
 

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Giardia can take several courses of treatment to cure. My pup came from the shelter with it and it took us 2 months or so to get it dealt with. There was gradual improvement during this time - and her only real symptom was the pudding poop. Keep treating. Eventually you will have a dog with normal poo.
 

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Where I live giardia is running rampant! I'm a vet tech and literally half (or probably more) of the fecals we read are positive for giardia. That being said, it's possible to read a fecal as negative one day and then positive for something (like giardia) shortly after. It just depends on whether the oocysts (eggs basically) are "shedding" which is when we'd see them in a fecal floatation.

Anyway, we've been finding that dog's are needing several rounds of metro (flagyl) to treat the giardia. One of our vets has started to treat the second time with panacur (fenbendazole - which is a dewormer, but also can treat giardia). It usually seems to get rid of the giardia, but it depends on if your vet offers this or not. We have two dogs at the moment who have had about 5 to 6 giardia positive fecals over the last 5 months! Naturally the owner is not too happy, but if the dogs' get re-infected there isn't much we can do. We usually suggest that if the diarrhea stops stop medicating. If it persists we've even been doing the giardia vaccine which eliminates the symptoms. Again depends on your vet's policies and practices.

I'd certainly look into the giardia vaccine though if they offer it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks tons for the advice.

I'm leaning towards using a more holistic approach to curing him, instead of feeding my vet tons of cash.
I've read that grapefruit seed extract is good at getting rid of it.

wondering if anyone here has tried this approach?
 

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Does your vet charge a lot for the meds? The cost of my dogs treatment was very reasonable - although the shelter actually picked up the tab.

In a young dog, giardia can be dangerious if untreated. I'll probably be slammed by the alternative meds crowd for saying so, but I wouldn't fool around with the alternative treatments in a case where there is a known, relatively uncomplicated, widely accepted, very reliable way of dealing with the problem. Yeah, it can take a little while, but your dog will be getting better and you'll know it. Why take the chance just to save a few bucks?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not "that" worried about saving money.

My main concern is that I've read that Flagyl can cause liver problems.
I've expressed my concerns to the vet, but she seemed indifferent to my concerns.

with the pudding poop, is that a sign he's getting better?
should i keep him on some medication till it hardens?

I really don't give him any out of the ordinary treats, minus bully sticks.
he loves those.
he eats evo red meat, virbac chews for his teeth (after meals), and he gets some salmon oil in his food. i use his food as a treat, for training.

the vet said, that if he didn't respond well with this, that she wanted to change his diet, to duck/potato. i'm not interested in trying to change his diet again, seeing that before we started going to the dog park, i had already changed his diet to the evo red meat, and his stool was hard as a rock (albeit the greenish color). Plus his allergies to chicken.
 

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My main concern is that I've read that Flagyl can cause liver problems.
I've expressed my concerns to the vet, but she seemed indifferent to my concerns.
I'd be a little concerned with the vet honestly. We never treat with flagyl more than twice because of complications in some dogs. I don't know about the liver complications, but I do not some dogs can have neurological side effects - hence only treating twice.

I've never heard of the grapefruit seed extract but I'd say it's worth a try. At work the vets and techs and doing their darndest to find some kind of alternate treatment for giardia that actually works. Sometimes the metro works, but doesn't give the dog a negative fecal which is kind of pointless. I'll have to mention the grapefruit seed extract...
 

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Is giardia more common in certain parts of the country? I live in NE where everything is frozen solid. Just this past week, my dog with loose stool. Was just about to take sample to vet, but after 3 days got better. Only heard of people with giardia, usually from lake water, etc. Can it transmit to person? Something else to watch out for.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
yes, people can get giardia.

just make sure you wash your hands after picking up the poo, and water bowl. normally it's more common for people with weaker immune systems to get it, from what i read.
 

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It's most commonly transmitted through the infested water supply and through their poo. A lot of dogs get it through drinking water outside somewhere or by eating other dog's poo....which hopefully no people are doing :) But we see so much we have started to wonder if it's airborne in my town LMAO
 
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